Bust of Former Confederate General and Ku Klux Klan Leader Removed From Tennessee State Capitol Building

The bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and KKK leader was hauled away from the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville.

The bust of a Confederate general and leader of the Ku Klux Klan was recently removed from the Tennessee State Capitol building in Nashville. 

Crews could be seen taking down and hauling away the 3,000-pound likeness of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the government building. 

Before the Civil War, Forrest was a cotton planter and a trader of enslaved people. During the war, he became a prominent leader of the Confederate cavalry.

In 1864, he presided over the Fort Pillow Massacre, in which hundreds of Union soldiers who had surrendered were killed by Forrest’s troops, and in 1867, Forrest was elected the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.

In the years following the war, the Klan pursued a policy of racial terror. The group helped undo many of the rights Black and formerly enslaved people had achieved.

But in recent years, activists have worked to remove the Klansman from places of honor, including the removal of a Forrest statue in Memphis in 2017. The remains of Forrest and his wife were exhumed and removed to an undisclosed location in West Tennessee earlier this year.

The recent bust move comes after a vote for a compromise by the Tennessee state legislature, where the busts of two Union leaders — Admirals David Farragut and Albert Greaves — were also removed.

The busts will still be available for public view in the Tennessee State Museum.

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